We’ve looked at a number of sporting activities that people come to Dorset to do. Many Dorset visitors are day trippers or holidaymakers looking for entertainmnent, who will value personal recommendations on what’s on offer. As tourism is so important to the county, you will find that Dorset is full of visitor attractions for all ages – and in all weathers.
Remember that knowledge of wet weather attractions is very useful, particularly if your visitors have small children or teenagers that need to be entertained. The following is an overview of what is on offer, but make sure you know what is within easy distance of where you work, or what might appeal to the type of customers that you meet most often. Many attractions offer cut price entry to tourism employees, to enable you to experience them for yourself to make recommendations to visitors.
The simple question ‘So what do you like?’ (especially to a child) will give you a start as to what to suggest. Or perhaps you could email guests before they arrive with some suggestions.
Animal Attractions (for children of all ages)
Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park – a magical underwater world filled with a dazzling array of amazing sea creatures. Open all year round and particularly suitable for small children.
Weymouth Sea Life Tower – enjoy amazing 360º panoramic views of Weymouth Bay, Portland and the Jurassic Coast at 53m above sea level.
Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre near Wareham, home to the stars of TV’s Monkey Life and Monkey Business. It is home for rescued and endangered primates from around the world.
Farmer Palmers – Adventure farm park with opportunities to get close to animals particularly suitable for families with children under 8
Abbotsbury Swannery – the world’s only managed colony of Mute Swans, best visited in the spring when the chicks are hatching.
Bournemouth Oceanarium – a large aquarium on the waterfront in Bournemouth featuring a huge range of sea creatures and live feeding displays. New for 2015 is a penguinarium.
Museums and Galleries
There are museums or galleries in most of the towns across Dorset, make sure you know where the nearest one is and what it contains!
Dorset County Museum in the centre of Dorchester covers the history of Dorset, and features a Victorian Gallery and the Jurassic Coast Gallery
The Keep Military Museum is also in Dorchester, with displays and artefacts that tell the stories of the regiments of Devon and Dorset.
Tank Museum in Bovington near Wareham, brings the history of tanks and their crews to life. Tank manouvres and displays take place at peak periods.
The Gold Hill Museum in Shaftesbury is a local history museum with a cottage garden and wonderful views. Its varied collections include ancient and Roman archaeology, agricultural heritage, local traditions, domestic life, cottage industries and politics.
Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum, Dorchester – the museum evolved from a library which formed part of the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Memorial Cottages, built in 1934 to mark the centenary of the Martyrs’ conviction. Visitors can discover for themselves how the Tolpuddle Martyrs changed the face of social history.
Tower Park – On the outskirts of Poole this entertainment complex is perfect for less sunny days with Splashdown Water Park, Tenpin bowling, cinema, kids soft play and a range of family restaurants.
Swanage Railway – a nostalgic steam railway that runs through beautiful Purbeck countryside from Norden to Corfe Castle.
How many of the above have you visited? Could you describe them to a visitor?